Woman in Berlusconi's sex trial denounces 'war'

Associated Press

MILAN (AP) — The Moroccan woman at the center of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial has denounced what she says is psychological warfare being waged against her by Italian prosecutors.

Karima el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby, read out a lengthy statement Thursday to a gaggle of reporters in front of Milan's courthouse denying she was a prostitute and insisting that prosecutors hear her side of the story.

Berlusconi is accused of having paid for sex with el-Mahroug while she was a teen during the infamous "bunga-bunga" parties at his villa near Milan, and then trying to cover it up. Both deny sexual contact.

Her protest came at a politically sensitive time: Berlusconi's center-right party is seeking to muscle its way into a governing coalition after coming in second in inconclusive February elections.

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